Palenque, Mexico

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Palenque | Vacations and Travel to Palenque


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Located in the northern part of Chiapas, Palenque offers an unusual but delightful mix of provincial tranquility and the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of a big city. As you walk through the streets, you’ll see the friendly locals and tourists from around the world along with architecture that has retained some of its indigenous details even as the city becomes more modern. Like so many other cities, Palenque has a busy downtown area; however the quiet surroundings are perfect for relaxation and leisure.

Temple at Palenque

Palenque has many facets, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of nature without sacrificing modern comforts. Many of the hotels are affordable and provide easy access to the archeological site and the main attractions in Palenque.

The Archeological Site

Palenque archeological site

One of the main settlements of the Mayan World, Palenque archeological site is located just five miles away from the city amidst mystical jungle surroundings. Renowned for its beautiful sculptures, the ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Temple of the Inscriptions is one of the site’s most famous buildings. A plaque was found embedded in the soil within the structure and beneath it is an 80 foot long staircase that leads down to the main burial crypt of the Mayan world. The temple was named after the large tablets inscribed with one of the longest Mayan glyphs ever discovered.

If you visit Palenque on a sunny day, you’ll see the beautiful way in which the sunlight pours through the treetops to flood the city and give life to its surroundings. On rainy days, the water vapors emanating from the paved road leading to the site adds even more mysticism to an already magical place.

A Brief History

History of Palenque

The city was founded in 1567, when the Dominican Friar Pedro Lorenzo united several Cho Indian families that were living in the Lacadon jungle. Years later in 1573, the Friar gifted them three bells as a symbol of the community’s founding. In 1813, it was officially declared a town by a decree issued by the Cortes de Cadiz and its status as a city was finally achieved in 1972, when it was decreed by the State Governor.

The largest of the three main church bells donated by Friar Pedro Lorenzo has been preserved and is the only remaining witness to the founding of Palenque.

Palenque Profile

  • A small city in northern Chiapas, close to the borders of the Mexican states of Campeche and Tabasco
  • Offers a tranquil and provincial atmosphere along with more modern developments
  • Its archeological site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Surrounded by lush vegetation and offers great natural beauty
  • Has a warm climate and frequent rains
  • Located near several ecotourism areas
  • Exhibits and sells authentic Mayan handicrafts in the city and the archeological zone
  • Home to exquisite cuisine with indigenous roots and international influences

Things to do in Palenque

  • Visit the Palenque archeological site, one of the most important in the area
  • Purchase Mayan handicrafts in the downtown area or at the archeological sites
  • Take a bike ride or enjoy a walk as you explore the city and its surroundings
  • Swim at the nearby waterfalls and lagoons while you admire beautiful natural surroundings
  • Try delicious local specialties like "shote con momo" (river snail, the herb "hoja santa" and corn dough), tamales or "pozol" (a drink with corn dough, water and other ingredients).
  • Sign up for some of the local tours and discover the city attractions as well as the archeological sites.
  • Meet people from around the world when you enjoy a beer or coffee during your night out in Palenque.


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